Background and Context
Local redistricting is becoming a more open and public process, informed through public hearings and other modes of local citizen participation. This overview chapter explains what the process is about and why districts are used. The chapter is intended to establish the requisite breadth of understanding necessary to manage the redistricting process or participate effectively in public deliberations. It provides a primer on governing rules and such key concepts as representational equality and electoral equality; an effective voting majority; common forms of vote dilution (“packing” and “cracking”); and types of local election systems.